Quick summary. The flu went by Tuesday and Wednesday last week I headed out for my first run (7M with 8x100m strides). This went fine but Thursday's 11 miler with 7M at 15K / hm pace did not go so well. I felt like I was losing my lungs and my cold had definitely not left my chest. I managed the pace (7:52 min/mile average) but not without two stops. It felt like a fail, though I knew it wasn't. Now I know most of you are pretty similar - we tell ourselves it's okay to miss the occasional workout but secretly we beat ourselves up over it. Am I right or is it just me? So I was feeling very slack because, although I had not done too badly in the weeks before being ill, I also hadn't quite done everything Pfitz had prescribed. And being a drama queen, if I miss too many workouts I turn it into a personality issue - i.e missing the workouts or not doing them right shows that I am the loser / incompetent / fat slug etc. which I secretly know I am. I know I know. It's really ridiculous. So. I was determined that, despite having missed 2 days of the week due to training, I was going to get at least 50M of the prescribed 55 in this week and that I was going to kick ass on my 20 miler.
Friday dawned and it was pouring with rain. Cold rain. And it was windy. But I was going to kick ass, remember? So after dropping my son off at school I parked in my little spot and set out on the 9 mile loop I was going to extend and do twice. My mile 3 I was soaked to the bone. I was wearing my parka, not my running jacket, but even this proved incapable of protecting me from the horizontal rain which occasionally, for the fun of it, turned to sleet. On I trudged, listening to podcasts and music. There were very few motorists out on the road as it was such awful weather and the ones who were out looked disbelievingly at me as they splashed me driving past. At mile 11.5 I stopped at the car to refill my water bottles (yes, amazingly, I was still thirsty) and peeling off my soaking gloves to do this and then putting them back on took such a mental push. At mile 15 I was overtaken and splashed by someone I know - I recognised him but he, thankfully, did not recognise me. I did not look human anymore by this stage. My hands were freezing and my feet were numb, I tripped over them twice in the last mile, but I brought the run in. 20 miles in 2:59 in probably the worst conditions I have ever done a long run in. Garmin autopaused for potty-breaks but that was it. I can't tell you how happy I was to get it done. Having wondered whether I was perhaps a loser / incompetent / fat slug I now felt like a rock star / superstar / elite athlete. You can see that moderation is not my strong suit.
me at mile 3 - you can see the wind blowing my hood up but i'm still smiling. haha! 3 miles into a 20miler you have NO idea!
The rest of the weekend went by very quickly with various family commitments - I managed 12 miles over the next 2 days but without any style or speed - the 20 miler had knackered me out.
So - 7 weeks to go yesterday! I don't know how I feel about the race yet, really. I don't think I am faster than I was in training for London, but I am better at getting the paces and I think I am stronger. I can last longer, I think. I've got another race coming up in 3 weeks, the Ashby 20 miler, which I ran last year with my friend Michael and we will be doing it together again. It's a very hilly race, so once again I can practise my race strategy of going out slightly slower and speeding up as I go along. Let's see if it works!
Otherwise, it's another high mileage week for me. I started off with a 29 mile bikeride yesterday. My new bikeseat has not arrived yet and my padded cycling shorts do not provide enough insulation. I am in pain. I am meant to be doing an 8-15K tune up race this weekend according to Pfitz, but that's not going to happen this weekend. Too much going on my friend! I shall just head out and run my own 10K race and see how I go. Bearing in mind I hate 10Ks.
Hope everyone's running and life is going well - things here are still pretty up and down and I am really working hard at trying to let things go and not getting too hurt and upset. Without my running there wouldn't be a hope of getting through the weeks without meltdowns. But I have my running, (and some pretty incredible friends) so all is dealable with.Happy trails everyone!